I started blogging early in 2011, way later than most. Just like you, it was on a whim. I started writing, but didn’t know how to make more people read it? A friend suggested that like most bloggers, I should go to others’ blog posts, leave comments and interact with bloggers. “Okay”, I said. “But how am I going to find good blogs to begin with.” “Simple”, said the friend. “Register on Indiblogger.”
“Register first. You will figure the rest out yourself.”
What lovely advice it turned out to be! Within a few weeks of registering, I was addicted. I spent hours interacting on the chat forum, reading people’s blog posts, leaving comments on the ones I liked and promoting them. As a result, my traffic saw a spike, and I got in touch with amazing bloggers. The IB (Indiblogger, not Imperial Blue) platform provided me with the foundation to get more visibility on my blog. But it also taught me the most important lesson - to get meaningful interactions, I had to build relations with the right bloggers.
Which is why I am excited about the Blog Now, Live Forever event being organized by IB. One doesn’t often get to hear (or read) about blogging conferences being held in this part of the world (let alone international speakers coming over). Often we read about such events with high profile speakers held in US, and are left thinking “when will something like that come here?” Indian blogging is still in its adolescence, where most bloggers still do not understand the significance of creating content for users, and promoting it effectively. I interact with many bloggers, and one thing noticeable is the lacking understanding of building relations and an outreach. “I write for myself, not others. Whoever is interested will come and read”, is a popular belief. And then they complain about barely getting traffic (let alone shares or comments) on their blog. Guest posting, content distribution, relationship building etc. are terms that we bloggers despise as much as we despise corruption.
This is where the BNLF event will prove disruptive. With speakers like Bruce Dickinson (Up the Irons!), Jeff Bullas, Christoph Trappe and Arnab Ray (astute viewers of the content creation and sharing scenes globally) sharing their experiences and insights, it will stimulate many bloggers to evolve. I also look forward to hearing Kanan Gill, whose insights on adding humor and story telling to one’s content can improve its quality in leaps and bounds, will prove invaluable. Mind you, keeping audience in peels of laughter for 8-12 minutes when our attention span is less than 8 seconds today is no mean feat.
Of course, apart from listening to globally renowned bloggers, the highlight will be seeing Bruce Dickinson live again, this time on a different platform. The last (and only) time I got the chance was when Iron Maiden came to Mumbai, and I had stood in the second row from 3 (they hit the stage at 8:30 that night). I had to hold myself from weeping when Bruce ran on stage and started singing ‘Aces High’. I hope I can contain my emotions this time around too. “Your time will come”, sang Bruce in The Wickerman. I hope that my time to see him again has come. IB holds the key to this hope.
But let’s leave my personal fandom of Bruce behind and get back to the blogosphere. If you are a blogger, or are even looking to pursue a career in social media, the BNLF event sounds like a wonderful event to not only hear renowned speakers, but also meet popular bloggers and pick their brains (worth its weight in gold). I will be going. Hope to see you there.